Science

  • Countering Counter-Factual COVID Confusion

    We don’t know what we don’t know, and we will never know what we can’t know, but by insisting on properly designed studies we can know if pandemic policies are working, Sarah Hamersma notes.

    There are so many policy questions that need answers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We would like to know how every intervention has affected the spread: have extended testing, school closures, stay-at-home orders, or even just officially-recommended social...

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  • Changing the Meaning of Climate Change

    With the 2019 federal vote being dubbed Canada’s climate change election, Convivium’s Peter Stockland says all sides must change rhetorical theatrics into serious reasonable solutions.

    Announce boldly in any bar where two or more are gathered that modern humans owe our existence to climate change. You’ll be ridden out of town on a rail – or carried about in a sedan chair like an old-style pope.

    Yet that’s precisely what serious aca...

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  • Tools of Science: Trusted or Busted?

    Putting algorithms to an accountability test doesn’t require junking them entirely, but it can help us catch out powerful interests more intent on abusing than using our data, argues Cardus Social Cities Director Milton Friesen.

    The big success stories of our time have scaled at exponential rates -  Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and the other ‘super bigs’ that relentlessly enlarge themselves. When something scales, however, the mix of characteristics, benefits, and costs of a business o...

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  • The Shared Space of Faith And Science

    Milton Friesen, program director of Cardus Social Cities, will deliver a lecture this evening at McMaster University’s Divinity College on Religion And Science: Conspiring Together For God. As Milton tells Convivium’s Peter Stockland, he intends it as a catalyst to a much broader and deeper conversation about the institutional responsibilities of faith and science in Canada’s common life.

    Convivium: Science versus religion is always a hot topic, but I gather you’ll be talking about it in a somewhat different way than we’ve come to expect?

    Milton Friesen: I’ll be looking at the institutional aspects of...

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  • Mockery and Majesty

    Convivium editor in chief Father Raymond J. de Souza reflects on the new Governor General's recent remarks to the Canadian Science Policy Convention, outlining the connection between faith and science, and the importance of kindness and care for those around us. 

    The new Governor General made rather a mess of her speech to the Canadian Science Policy Convention, less than a month into her service as Canadian vice-regal representative of Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God of Canada, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, De...

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  • Changing the Climate for Faith and Science

    Katharine Hayhoe, one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2014, appreciates both science and faith. Hayhoe states: "I don’t accept global warming on faith: I crunch the data, I analyze the models, I help engineers and city managers and ecologists quantify the impacts."

    Katharine Hayhoe, one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2014, delivered three lectures relating to her field, climate science, three years ago this month, at Trinit...

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  • The New Scientism: Still Fighting the Phantom War

    This book is about the war between science and religion: about how science has won this war so thoroughly that it can explain why religion will not go away, why there are people who choose God over science.If this sounds absurd, that's because it is. Really, a "religious" person could make the same case on the same grounds simply by inverting the key terms.

    [This review was originally published in Convivium Magazine and in Books and Culture.] It's a curious irony that the champions of scientism are some of the most vocal advocates of change and progress yet they so rarely change or progres...

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  • Global Warming and Group Think

    For whatever truths science might settle about whether or not the globe will warm in future, their political extension will require resort to pathetic fallacy: the waters must rise because David Suzuki sighs. The reduction shows itself in the very shorthand used to frame the discussion. What was once carefully defined research into the specific effects of human activity on the atmosphere has now elided into a three-word mission: stop climate change.

    Something to watch during the Paris climate summit is the way in which wind and rain become a mix of fact, faith, moralism and imagination.

    For whatever truths science might settle about whether or not the globe will warm in future, their political e...

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